LACONIA — Justin Spencer, who turned his high school bucket-banging act into Recycled Percussion and led them all the way to becoming headliners in Las Vegas, is returning to his Laconia roots.
He told city officials earlier this month that a Sept. 21 all-day outdoor concert and fireworks show his band is planning will celebrate the group’s decision to open a storefront at 777 Union Ave. in Lakeport, where the group plans to base its televised project “Chaos & Kindness.”
The premise is to provide people with experiences to show them that they can shape their future to be better than their present.
“We’re going to go full blitz and put Laconia on the map,” said Spencer in a prior appearance before the city’s Special Events Review Committee.
The committee, whose members include Police Chief Matt Canfield and Fire Chief Kirk Beattie, is tasked with ensuring events have proper security, traffic control, trash collection and parking to ensure public safety and to minimize disruption to residents and businesses.
During a city council meeting Monday, Spencer’s administrative assistant said her boss was unable to attend as he was performing in Las Vegas.
Because the event is free and is being promoted via social media, she told the council that the exact number of people who will show up is unknown, but suggested Lakeport Square could hold 4,500.
City Councilor Bob Hamel said he was glad the group had chosen to make Laconia its home, but recounted that several years ago the city had a bad experience when a purported national music promoter organized a concert and failed to pay his workers or reimburse the city for safety services costs.
He also expressed concern that the upcoming Recycled Percussion event was advertised before any approvals were given, adding that communication could improve in the future.
“We don’t usually ask for permission but for forgiveness afterwards,” she replied.
Councilor David Bownes commented that the group’s enthusiasm for Laconia was appreciated and that he was confident that based on their experience they could pull off such an event.
“I like this idea, this excitement that you guys do and want to bring to Laconia. So, rock ‘n’ roll to you,” Bownes said.
On a motion by Bownes, seconded by Councilor Henry Lipman, the council voted unanimously to approve a temporary traffic order for the event pending Special Events Review Committee approval along with the mandate that cash in an amount yet to be determined be placed in an escrow account to cover all overtime costs and services related to the event, with any overage in escrow funds to be returned to the organizer after the event.
The temporary traffic order will close Clinton Street on Sept. 21 from 7 a.m. to midnight and a detour will be in place between Mechanic Street and Stark Street.
The motion also specified that it was “imperative” that the applicant make a concerted effort to personally contact businesses within the traffic detour area to explain that a major event is happening that day — with the potential to bring many first-time visitors to Laconia — and to share with business owners how every effort will be made to support getting customers to that business on that date.
As an additional requirement for approval, the band will need to report to the Special Events Review Committee during its Sept. 9 meeting to give the specifics of how those contacts were made and the level of broad-base response and support received.
Known for its power-driven drumming, the New Hampshire based band has enjoyed a steady upward trajectory since appearing on “America’s Got Talent” in 2009. The group has performed more than 5,000 shows in more than 15 countries.
The band’s signature performances set the beat on discarded industrial junk, power tools and a barrage of buckets and metal cans, and include daring showmanship and acrobatics on tall ladders, interspersed with plenty of pyrotechnics and an impressive light show.